Never mind: Irma Now a CAT 5, Florida Braces for Worst

This morning we reported that Hurricane Irma had reached wind speed earning it a Category 4 designation.

But while all of us were sleeping off the Labor Day festivities, the National Hurricane Center upgraded the storm once again to Category 5.

That designation comes with maximum wind speeds of over 150 mph. Now for some perspective.

When Hurricane Harvey made landfall in south Texas, maximum sustained wind speeds were roughly 130 mph.

Um, so, Irma’s making Harvey look like a practice run so far. In fairness, Irma is still quite a way off from Florida.

The problem is that of all the projected tracks, one of them has Irma hitting the Gulf side of Florida and another has it running straight up the peninsula.

Gov. Scott has already issued a state of emergency in hopes Florida residents will take precautions to prevent a death-toll similar to Harvey’s.

We’ll keep you posted as this develops.

Here’s more from Orlando Sentinel…

Hurricane Irma has been upgraded to a Category 5 storm and there is an “increasing chance” the storm will impact Florida, according to the National Hurricane Center.

Irma’s maximum sustained winds have reached 175 mph, according to the National Hurricane Center’s latest advisory Tuesday morning.

The storm is “extremely dangerous,” the hurricane center said.

“There’s an increasing chance of seeing some impacts from Irma in the Florida Peninsula and Florida Keys,” it said. “Otherwise, it is still too early to determine what direct impacts Irma might have on the continental United States. However, everyone in hurricane-prone areas should ensure that they have their hurricane plan in place.”

According to the Saffir-Simpson scale, a Category 5 hurricane has maximum sustained winds of at least 157 mph. Irma is about 270 miles east of Antigua — and about 1,400 miles from Key West — and is moving west at 14 mph.

Barbados has issued a tropical storm warning for the Caribbean island nation of Dominica. A hurricane warning is in effect for, among others, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

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